While Black Friday is useful for shoppers wanting to grab a bargain, cyber criminals will have a “much bigger window to con bargain hunters”, according to Kaspersky Lab.
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Some of the most common methods of defrauding shoppers include: fake websites, phishing emails with malicious links, pop up ads purporting to be genuine adverts, fake items for sale on genuine sites, and ‘sniffing’ for passwords and payment details over unsecured Wi-Fi.
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Starting today, for the Black Friday Period, Kaspersky advises shoppers to follow the following tips:
- Secure all devices using internet security software
- Make sure you apply security updates to your operating system and applications
- Only use secure sites. Look for a URL beginning with ‘HTTPS://’- that’s ‘S’ for SECURE
- Use a unique password for every online site, by using a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters, and make sure they’re at least 15 characters long
- Don’t click on random links in e-mails; it’s better to type in a URL yourself, to avoid the risk of ending up on a phishing site
- Try to stick to familiar sites that you know or have heard of
- If you do buy from a new vendor, research it carefully
- Use extra caution when using your mobile device for online purchases. Shortened URLs, often used because they are phone-friendly, can hide the fact that they lead to a risky site
- Avoid using untrusted public Wi-Fi hotspots for confidential transactions like online shopping
- Ensure that children do not have access to your online accounts, and make sure they can’t access your credit card and bank information
- Backup your data regularly to a CD, DVD, or external USB drive to avoid your personal files being lost if you are the target of a cyber attack
- Keep checking your accounts regularly to make sure you notice any unusual/fraudulent activity straight away.
Kaspersky Lab also detected Cyber Monday doubled the amount of users attacked in 2016 when compared to the previous day.
Written from press release by Leah Alger